Associate Professor Mechthild Schmidt
New York University
Mechthild Schmidt, building on a fine arts and history background (Universität der Künste + Freie Universität, Berlin), has worked in digital media since her DAAD (German Academic Exchange Program) grant to New York in the mid-eighties. She designed for major post houses and networks in Munich and New York where she realized her computer-based art video and stage projects. Her holistic approach often looks for interdisciplinary connectivity with theatre (Amphitryon, Macbeth machinima) or dance (Rush Dance). Among her awards and commissions are the design of the ‘Deutscher Filmpreis’ Statue ‘Lola’, an International Monitor Award for ‘Interactive Multimedia’, an IBM grant for a multimedia theatre ‘Amphitryon’ (Munich), a Fellowship for the Whitney Museum Independent Study Program, NYC and the mentioned DAAD grant. She has exhibited and spoken internationally about her work and interest in media convergence and digital aesthetics (Siggraph, BDA, MIT/CAVS, NMC at Princeton, Bauhaus Dessau, KHM Cologne). Mechthild Schmidt is currently associate professor at New York University where she teaches Digital Communications and Media (DCoM). She produces the DCoM CrossRoads panel series with the current theme of ‘Engaged Media’ - talks on media ethics and sustainability. She has worked and taught in the virtual platform of Second Life since 2006. Responding to the ecological crisis, she has directed her teaching towards awareness-building use of participatory media and initiated the student-centered interactive Second Life plastic bottle maze. Her own latest projects in Second Life are Mirror Garden 1 + 2 (2008/10) and Mirror Garden 3 (in progress).